A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
I may have known the homeless woman who recently passed on, apparently last weekend, but I have difficulty putting names together with faces because I do NOT hang around with the crowds of street people here in Boulder, CO. I’ll simply refer to her as “N.” here.
Different acquaintances of N. have told me different stories; she was a chronically homeless alcoholic, a drug addict, a woman who suffered from a seizure disorder, and various combinations of all of these. I would only be speculating as to her cause of death, and see no reason to do so, but we should bear in mind that the life expectancy of chronically homeless people is somewhere around 50 years of age. I’m just happy that our local do-gooders — Joy Eckstine Redstone and Isabel McDevitt — have not used the Daily Camera to publicize this death and call for still more funding/increased services for the homeless (many of whom are transients from Denver and elsewhere). Remember their shameless exploitation of homeless deaths last summer? It was almost enough to make the Homeless Philosopher puke . . .
I’ve been enjoying the absence of bums during the day at my spot on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. So, it seems, have passersby at the nearby corner of U.S. 36; yesterday, I made $30 during the noon hour. I like it when everybody’s happy!
However, around 3PM, a couple of bums I’d NEVER seen before came strolling up to me, one of them introducing himself by the nickname “Polish” (not the nationality he actually used), and he asked if I’d seen “Doris” (not her real name), the pickled idjit who was evicted from her brand new Housing First apartment, and has since caused problems at my campsite and on the corner, too. I told him I hadn’t seen her, but it was reported to me that she was passed out face-down in front of Boulder Bins during the day on Monday. I also told him that I didn’t want to see her because of her stupid drunken antics, which I related in detail for his benefit. Polish said that Doris had moved to their campsite, where they don’t allow vodka — but they do permit rum and beer, as if alcohol itself isn’t the issue — and they were worried about her. Why waste your time caring? Really, she’s another one determined to slowly kill herself with booze, and NOBODY can stop her, short of committing her to a secure psychiatric facility for dipsomania.
“Doris” would have to sober up a bit to reach this point.
These two guys, the other one besides Polish never spoke a word, might have thought that I knocked Doris in the head and then threw her down a mine shaft somewhere. But, like the proverbial bad penny, she showed up this morning at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Last I saw, as my SKIP bus was leaving southbound on Broadway around 7:30AM, she was walking out to the corner. She won’t make a dime — not even if she staggers into the roadway and holds up traffic through a green light, one of her aggressive panhandling tactics fueled by rotgut booze.
Yes, I despise this woman. And I also despise the do-gooders who gave her a chance at 1175 Lee Hill, over scores of more deserving and trustworthy homeless people.
A pox on them all!
This morning, just before I got up at my campsite at 5AM, some crazy bum came walking right up on me and he was carrying a large sheet of plywood. WTF? This is the same character who’s been transported by paramedics to the local psych ward more than once in years past, from my neighborhood. I watched as he placed a makeshift cross on the large pile of dirt on the CDOT lot, and I’ll hazard a guess that it’s meant as a memorial to the aforementioned N. — but she didn’t die in this part of town, so I’m not certain what this Froot Loop meant to convey by his gesture.
This is what happens when city officials allow the homeless shelter/services industry to operate without supervision: Boulder gets overrun by the worst-behaved homeless people, most of ’em transients without any long-term ties to our town. It’s negatively impacting the quality of life in my north Boulder neighborhood, without any doubt whatsoever.
That’s my rant for the day. Next, I think I’ll go to King Soopers and buy a pint of ice cream: